The entrepreneurial school holiday blues

Four days in and I’ve given up the fight.

The tussle and juggle of solo-business owner versus school holidays was over today. It just had to be. Because I was driving myself mad and the kids too, and that’s just not cool anymore.

This working from home (albeit in an awesome custom-built studio!) combined with kids at home scenario just does not work for me, or them.  And I knew that. I know that.  It happens every term, every year.  I head into school holidays with a sense of trepidation and angst – the complete opposite of my non-business-owning or working friends – as well as a huge bag of mother guilt for feeling that way.  The “can’t you just take some time off? You’re the boss aren’t you?” comments don’t help either….

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Don’t undervalue yourself: how to remove the stress of pricing your services

Pricing is one of the trickiest P’s of marketing.  It’s especially tricky when you are pricing your OWN services because a) you’re too personally involved and b) it’s hard to measure exactly like-for-like value. Putting a price on a can of soft drink is a whole lot easier than pricing a health transformation service for instance. It doesn’t seem to make it any less complicated when you know that you deliver amazing value and transformation for your clients – many of us still get stuck.

I struggled with this when I first started my copywriting business.  I went from a large 6 figure salary in corporate world, believing every day that I was absolutely worth every penny of that to the company, to charging myself out at less than half of my hourly rate as a copywriter when I first opened my doors.  In hindsight it was ridiculous! I had SO much experience, so much to offer, but somehow I just found it vomit-worthy charging more.  When I first tried to settle on an hourly rate I looked at competitors for ideas and I looked at complementary services to try and find where I fit. Whilst I could gauge an industry ‘norm’, I really struggled to know what would be an acceptable amount for me to charge. The thing was that I wasn’t a kid just starting out in this profession, nor did anyone have exactly the same experience as me.

I felt I deserved to earn roughly what I had been earning prior but somehow it didn’t seem to work out that way…

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Key things to consider before attending a writer’s retreat

Whether you’re a business-owning 40 something (ahem) like me, a fresh university graduate, a middle-aged career-changer, or a retired widow, a writing retreat could be just what you need to start that book, finish your online course content, or finally get those blogging ideas out of your head and onto the page. It isn’t everyone’s idea of fun, but it certainly is mine….and it’s also exceptionally useful, productive and necessary when you lead a busy life and need dedicated time to get things done.

There are people I know who are mystified as to why I would want to run away and ‘just write’ for the weekend. They can’t fathom why I’d have to ‘go away’ to do that when I have a perfectly great work space at home. They also don’t really understand when I say that I actually just want to write ALL day, like 8 hours per day, almost non-stop, only breaking for coffee and chocolate.

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Red light and blue sky

This morning as I set up office in my new favourite cafe, my lemongrass and ginger tea brewing silently in its pot as the toddlers noisily bustled around their mother’s legs, I had one of those moments of bliss. Those moments where you realise your kids are independent enough to be at an activity on their own (kung fu and school) and I have 40 glorious minutes to just be me.  With a calming sigh, in delicious anticipation of doing some writing I gently lifted the lid on my MacBook and pressed the start key.

But instead of that welcoming ‘da-daaaaam’ sound, I was shown the ugly face of the red light, battery symbol.

***NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO***

How could I have been so stupid!  My heart pumped faster, my legs crossed in indignation and my mind raced to all the ‘issues’ I’d have now because I couldn’t get 1, 2 and 3 things done in my allotted time.

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Shadows stifle success

You’re amazing at what you do. I know that, because otherwise you wouldn’t have had the guts to buy the domain name, agonise over the logo, and head out at all hours of the morning and night to attend networking and training events. You bothered to step out of your comfort zone, finally gave the coprorate job the finger, sucked up your pride and told your parents and friends that you were “now open for business.” You made the move because you know deep down that you can do that ‘thing’ better than anything else and anyone else.

What I reckon might be happening now though is that you’ve made it to the end of year one, or two, or even three (if you’re lucky) and you’re not feeling the rush of momentum anymore. The sparkle of newness has fizzled, the excitement of being a ‘start-up’ has faded.  You’ve exhausted all your networks and you’re wondering where your next clients will come from. It’s getting tiring but you kid yourself because you’re ‘busy’ that you must be progressing.  You’re doing ok, but be honest, you’re not really soaring are you? You’re paying your way, but you haven’t exactly lived up to the dream promised in that first ‘entrepreneurs get rich’ seminar you attended.  There’s a fair bit of spinning in circles, doing the same things on a different day hoping for a different result. You tell yourself there’s still so much to learn and you get distracted by the beautiful shiny things “because they might just be the missing piece of your puzzle”.  You fumble about continuously trying to figure out which one should be next on your To-Do list…the ever-growing To-Do list.

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